January 2019 EMS Update: Developing an Evidence-Based Approach to Pre-Hospital Pain Management
The opioid crisis has raised questions about the best way to address patients’ pain in the field. While there’s no evidence tying prehospital administration of narcotics to addiction or overdose deaths, finding alternatives to managing pain could reduce the amount of opioids in the field. At the same time, it is critical that patients’ pain is not ignored, and safe and effective treatments are available to EMS clinicians.
To help address the issue, the NHTSA Office of EMS is working with AHRQ experts to examine the research and evidence related to prehospital management of acute pain by EMS. AHRQ has selected researchers at the University of Connecticut Evidence Based Practice Center to steer the effort, which will result in a report that will be used to update the evidence-based guidelines for prehospital analgesia in trauma. That EBG was originally published online in 2013.
“Alleviating patients’ pain and suffering is not only the right thing to do, but it is a central tenet of the people-centered vision that is described by EMS Agenda 2050,” said Jon Krohmer, MD, director of the NHTSA Office of EMS. “We’re proud to collaborate with our federal, state and local partners to develop evidence-based guidelines for EMS clinical care to ensure patients across the country have access to the best possible treatment and outcomes.”